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If you have ever been in a hockey locker room, you will know that clear tape, or sock tape can make you the most popular person in the room quickly. It seems like everyone also needs it, and no one ever has it. Most fans have seen and may even understand why a hockey player would put tape on their sticks, but why socks?
Hockey players tape their socks to keep socks and shin guards from moving either side to side or down while playing in a game or practicing. Most players shin guards are held by a strip of Velcro on the front and back of their legs. 2 pieces of Velcro per leg to help keep the guard in place. Unfortunately, this velcro is very rarely enough to maintain upright shin guards for an entire game or practice.
Why Doesn’t Velcro Work?
As hockey evolves and many teams do away with the classic cloth socks for more advanced, lighter weight alternatives we see more and more that the Velcro is not enough to do the job.
Without all the fabric of the cloth sock to grab onto, these newer socks tend to shift, slide, and fall as a player begins to sweat, fall, or skate.
The tape on the socks is an easy fix for this issue as they became snug to the leg. This tape will also ensure that your shin guards stay in place through any tumbles or pucks that may cause them to shift otherwise.
Alternatives to Sock Tape
There are some alternatives to sock tape out there for those looking to save some money or trying to be environmentally conscious.
Even if one only skates once or twice a week, taping your legs up each game can be very costly in the long run, especially if you have some needy teammates (that ‘borrow’ your tape each week)
They sell Velcro straps that would go in the same place of the tape that can be used multiple times. The reason you do not see these as often is that they are extremely visible and many teams would not allow them.
Why Sock Tape is Clear
The reason sock tape is clear is so that in games your teams colors are not hidden and everyone is uniform. In my opinion these would be better alternatives for practices or open skates where you can get away with mismatching should you choose to do so. Next time you are looking for a gift for your hockey playing friends or family, know you can never go wrong with clear tape, everyone needs it.